Well, my previous little phone took some pretty decent photos back in the day. They were a little fuzzy but definitely captured the moment well. This one was from back in 2010 but I can still remember driving with my dad as if it were last weekend. I since retired that little phone to a box in my room at the farm and have been snapping photos with my iPhone 4 ever since.
One thing I learned about when home during 2010 was family. Or we can call it farmily — the family farm, the family on the farm, the family with a farm. My farmily will always be there for me. When you’re 24, are two classes short of graduating, and you run out of money for college, the only thing left to do is to come home and work. While it would be a great fulltime job, we simply don’t have a fulltime farm. We have a family farm where I someday hope to bring my grandkids for weekend excursions.
(As you can see in my “About” page, however, I did graduate in Dec. of 2011 after saving up enough money from the fulltime job I acquired in January of 2011 to pay for my classes. So, the story has a happy ending!)
But, while I was home, I also learned to slow down, to appreciate life, and to love the people around me even more. From January to May of 2010, I took one college course at a community college in Houston. This introduced me to a lot of good friends who I am still in contact with. Once they learned I lived on a farm, they would ask for fresh veggies every week, and I would happily oblige by bringing baggies full of cucumbers, green beans, and tomatoes. I always had a wariness of community college, I am sad to admit, but after attending there, I have come to know this:
1) Community colleges have some of the best, shiniest, jewels of professors.
They seek refuge in the community colleges where they can really TEACH. They can counsel their students. They can tutor in peace. They can give advice, explain concepts to the fullest, challenge their students, and not have to worry about taking care of research, annoying distractions, or other such things. My professor was a retired Exxon physicist with a hilarious sense of humor. I learned more in that one class than I ever did in physics at A&M. I also made an A. I will forever remember him as the best teacher ever.
Of course I took the same professor for part 2. Again, same friends, same studying partners, same veggies, and another A. I had never baked cupcakes for a class before, and you better believe I took cupcakes at least once a month to my class for exams.
2) Working in a convenience store SUCKS.
I needed money to cover my few bills I had every month, and in the summer nothing really grows. Nobody was really buying my peppers. So, in October I picked up the old on-campus job I had and a friend offered to let me have the office in his house on the weekends. So, I’d come in on Friday, go to work, then work Saturday also, Sunday, and Monday. Monday afternoon I would drive home and sleep, then go to class Tue, relax Wed, and go to class Thursday. It sucked a lot, but I had money. On top of that, I drove 1.5 hours Friday, and 1.5 hours Monday to get back home.
I learned to love driving and appreciate how much my daddy did for his family by driving 1.5 hours to and from Houston every day, five days a week, for twenty years, to keep a cushy, salaried, benefited job for all of us. He could have taken the easy route and raised us in the city but he didn’t, and for that I am thankful.
But yes, working in a convenience store, on a campus, nonetheless, is depressing. Students throw their purchases on the counter, oblivious to all manners. They spill things and don’t clean them up. They think they’re entitled to the world and shouldn’t have to work for it. They’re bratty. They’re learning nothing at home. They are terrible, horrific little creatures! Occasionally there would be a sweet student, but most of them aren’t worth the money their parents pay to send them to school. I have much, MUCH respect for anyone who works in a convenience store, because people treat you like you’re there for their convenience and you aren’t worth shit.
I try to always buy a piece of candy for the person behind the counter. Discount be damned, it is my kind gesture that I know what they have to deal with, day in and day out. You will never see me rush the cashier, and I will give dirty looks to anyone who does.
While I hated every single minute of it, I did make two more friends that I am still in contact with.
And finally, 2010 made me appreciate the details in the world around me.
In January of 2011, I had a lucky break, and through all the skills my parents taught me about manners, respect, patience, and Microsoft Office (thanks daddy) I managed to snag a cushy office job in sales and contracts with a great company. Salary and benefits, enough to cover an apartment, all my bills, food, a little entertainment, gas, Christmas presents, and the occasional vacation. I am working on a portfolio thanks to the occasional marketing slick that I get to design. Someday I will likely be somewhere else, but until then, I am more than happy right here in life with my friends, family, and handsome boyfriend. I don’t want that “high-profile” job if it means leaving behind my sweetheart. I’m perfectly fine right here.
Thanks to 2010, I learned a lot of life lessons that could only be learned by being tossed out into the world and ousted from my comfort zone.
So, let me show you a few more pictures of all the detail that I recognized in 2010.
Check out these wackadoo cloud formations. There were rows and rows and rows of clouds stretching back as far as I could see.
A beautiful sunset. When I took two college classes in 2010, I stayed at home on the farm. I rode in with my dad every Tuesday and Thursday to Houston and took my college physics course. On the way there and the way back (but mostly the way home because I’d sleep every morning) I would take pictures to capture the pretty sunsets. The land is so flat around Houston and it makes for such colorful displays.
And no matter what, always remember to (Courtesy of Sweet Leaf Tea):
And appreciate the small things in life, because somewhere, someone has it worse than you.